The Castle Lager Proteas are building up for one last fight as they prepare for the fourth Sunfoil Test against England starting at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday. The squad held their first practice session on Tuesday afternoon with a few fresh faces and renewed hunger to finish off the series positively.
One positive to come from the seven-wicket loss at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium this weekend was Kagiso Rabada, who claimed his maiden Test five-for with figures of 5/78. The 20-year-old continues to make impressive strides on the international scene with every match he runs out in, and has maturely adopted to take the good results and the disappointing performances all in his stride.
“There are always going to be up and downs in cricket and in life,” he said to the media at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Tuesday. “The good times will come and we will look back at the tough times and think ‘look where we were and look where we are now’. It happens to everyone, unfortunately it is happening to us right now but we have to stick together as a team and stay positive.
“It’s always nice to try and help the team, that is all I do,” he said of his five-for. “It would have been nice if we had also won the Test match. We are trying to stay positive, that’s the main thing. We have another match starting here on Friday.
“ It was even more special getting the five-for at my home ground, the Wanderers,” he added. “It’s a memorable achievement and milestone. I always just try to do my best and to help the team, I try to stick to my game plans and the team’s game plans and luckily it paid off.”
In squad news, Stephen Cook has joined up with the squad while Stiaan van Zyl has been released back to his franchise the Cape Cobras. Dale Steyn has not recovered from a shoulder injury and will not be available for selection for the last Test, and all efforts will be made to have him ready for the Momentum One-Day International (ODI) series starting at the end of the month.
Rabada says the mood in the camp remains upbeat and determined, despite the disappointing performances on the field.
“ There is another game to play, we have to look to the future,” he said. “We are trying to stay positive, there is another match starting on Friday and we are going to rock up and play hard. We are not going to throw in the towel, it’s unlike us to do that.”